Rest at the River
pamela spurling

Dear Sisters ~

It’s a beautiful morning here in the Pacific Northwest… the sun is shining on the clusters of daffodils that encircle the old weeping willow tree outside my window.   The leaves on the willow tree are a sweet spring green ~ sort of a feast for the eyes this morning.  A tire swing hangs from one of the oldest branches and I can almost hear the sound of laughter the swing has brought through the years.  But it hangs motionless right now… as if to beckon another child at play.

I sit by the window in this quiet place to pray, to read the Word and to consider the ways of the LORD.  The only sounds are the birds chirping and the constant din of the computer fan.  I look out to see where the birds’ wings will take them in their flurry of activity and then I spot the tire swing and I smile as I watch and wait — for it will likely only hang motionless there for a little while longer as little ones run and play in the yard and will soon tire of kicking the ball or skating on the lane.  Eventually they will come to the quiet place to swing and to rest.   I pray for them as I consider that each one of them will come to a point in their life, that they realize the need to find the true place of rest – the longing for that which will refresh their soul.  I pray for the souls of those little children – for their walk with the LORD, for faith and trust in Him, I pray for their choices, for their health and strength, for the one that will be their husband or wife one day – that they, too, will put their faith and trust in the LORD, and that they, too, will be obedient and grow in the nurture and admonition of the LORD.

As I rest in the Word this morning, I’m mindful of some of the bittersweets that mothers face… bittersweets, the things and events that at one time we would have resisted or feared or things we could never have imagined in our younger years.  But as we go along in our mothering, the LORD fills us, works us, supplies us, diminishes us, strengthens and breaks us, nourishes and prunes us —  all that we might be to Him a sweet savour, a beautiful offering:  vessels He mercifully and graciously uses.

 I say mercifully and graciously because He is merciful to not tell us in advance all that He will do and allow in our lives; and I say graciously, because He graciously supplies all it will cost for all we’ll face.  It is of His mercy and grace that that we are both not consumed but are sustained.   Things we think we will never live through, never overcome, never survive: our LORD has already supplied, met, ordered or overcome.  But, in our desperation, we think we’re all alone –that we’re going this whole thing alone, that no one knows the troubles we face or the disappointments we endure.  But the LORD knows, because He’s already there, and He’s concerned with all that concerns us… and in the process He gives us a most incredible gift: faith.   Faith… faith being, “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11.1)


I was reading in Genesis and Exodus – probably my favourite studies are studies in the Pentateuch –the first five books of the Bible.  I try to get to that study every few years to keep my memory fresh regarding what God has done from the beginning, His ways and why the finished work of the Cross is so immense, so staggering.  So, I was considering a small portion this morning: a life of faith in the absence of tangible results or fulfilled prayers. 

You see, in the book of Genesis we read of the faith of Abraham, the faith of Isaac, the faith of Jacob.  Now, at the very beginning of Exodus we read of a mother’s selfless trust and faith.   We might miss it if we don’t stop to ponder the actions of this mother and the remarkable ramifications of that faith.  At a time when a great number of babies were being born and when the oppression of the Pharaoh was severe, and Hebrew baby boys were to be killed, Jochebed gave birth to a baby boy.  His mother had sweet compassion for him as his goodness had captured her heart and in an act of obedience, and ultimately in mercy, she wrapped her precious baby and placed him in a basket she’d fashioned from the bulrushes and then set it in the river.   In order that his life might be spared, she knew she needed to give him up.   You’ll have to read the incredible work of the LORD in her life and in the life of this fine child in Exodus, chapters: two and three.  It seems as foolishness to lose a life to save it.  But that’s what happened then and that’s what must happen for us today and it’s what must happen for our children. 

And so, what about us today?  We love our babies… our children.  And yes, in a literal sense, we don’t wrap our babies and put them in the basket and send the swaddled baby down the river.  But there does come a point when we as mothers need to take our children, though perhaps no longer wrapped in blankets and set in cradles, precious and dear as they are to us, and we need to give them over to the LORD:  setting them in the river and trusting Him to be the only One to lift them out and save them – for He’s the only One who can.  Our arms only comfort them for awhile – only keep them safe for awhile.

We may think we need to hold them, to guard, guide and provide for them.  But then, there still comes a point where we come to our knees and recognize that we are not their hope, that while we wrap them in blankets, all we can truly do is to wrap their lives in prayer.   There truly is life in no other, there is salvation in no other: it’s just Jesus.  He is the only hope for them… and the LORD is our only hope, as mothers, too.   We find peace at the river when we see He is all we need and He is enough and His love for our children is greater than we could ever hope or imagine.  His love is that river… it flows through His strong hands.

Dear sister, I pray you join me in finding rest at the river today.  God bless you as you keep your home, pray for your children and journey with the LORD.

 always in His hands,

with love and thanks to the LORD Jesus,  pamela spurling, Letters To My Sisters
© 2007 

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©A Christian Home ~ Letters To My Sisters ~ 2007



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